Transplanted Stem Cells show Promising Results in Brain Injury

human brain


A new study shows that the stem cells, transplanted in rats who have suffered from brain injury, help in functional recovery. The study has been published in the February issue of Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Congress of Neurological surgeons. The research was led by Dr. Toshiya Osanai from the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.
The researchers recovered the stem cells from the rat’s bone marrow and transplanted them directly onto the brain seven days after the rat had suffered from a cortical freezing injury. The stem cells were transplanted through the ipsilateral internal carotid artery. Before injecting the stem cells, the researchers labeled them with a fluorescent dye. The cells were then tracked for four weeks after the transplantation using in vivo optical imaging techniques and by histologic analysis.
The researchers noticed that the stem cells were directly grafted onto the cerebral capillary bed during the first pass. Within 3 hours, these stem cells started moving from the cerebral capillary bed to the injured CNS tissue. They played an important role in the functional recovery of the injured brain tissue. Within four weeks, a subgroup of these stem cells started differentiating into neurons, astrocytes and endothelial cells around the injured tissue and helped in its rapid healing.
The researchers have opined that bone marrow stem cell transplant may play an important role in the functional recovery of the injured brain tissue following a traumatic brain injury. Intra-arterial transplantation is an important route for the non-invasive transplantation of the bone marrow stem cells.
Recent advances in medical research have shown treatment with stem cells can be a promising way for dealing with brain injuries such as traumatic brain injury and stroke. However, many questions regarding their dose and correct timing are yet to be answered. Similarly, scientists are working out the best possible routes for transplanting the stem cells.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014